Handmade Holiday Presents: DIY Pixelated Reindeer Shirt

Woodland creatures are so in right now for some reason... is it because of winter? or the snow? or Christmas? Either way, they're very popular. I came across a pixelated reindeer on a stick-on tag in Target and I thought it was a really awesome print. It's very much known that I am a fan of 8-bit items so I was like okay, let's go do this on a shirt. This gift would be perfect for all those 8-bit nerds out there (like me) - I'm planning to make a matching one to give to my fiancee (when I find the same color for a guy's shirt) because I'm all about matchy couple things. Haha! Read on to find out my trials and what I did in the end!

I was inspired by this awesome Christmas jumper tutorial from Boohoo:

I just love that shirt they used! Perfect for embellishing. Get them here! I tried making the reindeer like this, truly. BUT, you guys, I didn't realize it would be too much work. It would be so awesome though, to have a bejeweled pixelated reindeer. So I just went with the usual fabric paint & stencil route, though you may also do this with iron-on vinyl or (maybe) even opaque T-shirt transfers.

Fabric paint - in a contrasting color
Foam brush
Pixelated reindeer template
Contact paper

Look for a pixelated reindeer - I suggest this from minieco, or this reindeer puxxle from Fab, or use the one that I used (download here). Print that on the back of contact paper and then cut it out. I use contact paper all the time because it gives me cleaner edges when stenciling a design onto fabric. 

Stick the contact paper template onto your shirt, making sure it's centered and leveled. Took me a couple of tries but I got it right... iron that down, using fabric between the contact paper and the iron so as to not melt the contact paper (yep, I did that). Why iron it, you say? it's so the contact paper will adhere better to the shirt therefore giving you crisper edges and less imperfections.

Now we paint! I used two coats for mine, but I wanted a slightly faded look. If you want a more solid color, paint another coat but be wary of the thickness of paint that you slap onto the fabric. Anyway, let that dry and heat-set it with the iron after drying.

Love love love my final product. Although I am thinking of adding random pixels for a background..

What color would you make this in? I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! And if you did, comment, follow, pin and subscribe. Have a good one folks!


  1. Ooh, looks cute on you!


    1. Oh yeah, I'd do gold pixels on a pale beige background.


  2. Soo cute !!! and it's white not gold for a change ;)

    I have nominated you for Versatile Blogger award ! here is the link http://www.moonshineandsunlight.com/2013/12/versatile-blogger-award-moonshine-and.html


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